June 3, 2018 The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
In our modern times, symbol can seem to have lost its value. The most recognizable “signs” are ones we see on the road or the branding in advertisements. The logos for major companies don’t do much more than perk our interest or disdain. They surely don’t deliver on their promises for our lives to be happier, healthier, and easier.
On this feast of Corpus Christi, we hear the account of the Last Supper. This was Passover, an ancient sign of the covenant of Moses. The Hebrew people celebrated God’s providential care for His people. To the listening disciples, Jesus makes a very bold claim. “This is my blood of the covenant.” At the time of the first Passover — the redemption of the Hebrew people from slavery to the Egyptians — the blood of the sacrificial lamb was spread on the lintels of the doorpost. Tomorrow, some of the disciples would witness the blood of the new covenant spread across the wood of the cross.
Christ’s Body and Blood are more than a sign. They are a sacrament. In the sacrament, the sign makes real what it signifies. More than ritual, a sacrament enacts truth of the covenantal love of God and His promise of fidelity. It’s a promise God keeps. The same bread and wine of that first Holy Thursday liturgy becomes — throughout the centuries and until the end of time — the very Body and Blood of Christ. On this feast, we celebrate the unfailing covenantal love of our God. As you partake in the Eucharist today, and next Sunday, and the Sunday after that, remember that you receive neither a meaningless sign nor an empty offer. You receive God Himself, as He fulfills His promise to remain with us always
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